Vulfpeck and Joey Dosik at Brixton Academy
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joey Dosik tonight supports fellow American funk maestros Vulfpeck.
Dosik appears stage right, opening with the beautifully tender My Inner Voice (Reprise), from the eponymous 2018 album, wistfully playing the saxophone, with drums lightly backing. Moving to the keyboard, the musician sings the rest of the song, his voice superb in the venue’s acoustics, all encompassing.
Running Away (Game Winner, 2016) is a slow-building R’n’B track, imbued with Dosik’s signature smooth vocals over an elegant instrumental produced by the Wurlitzer keyboard. Highlights of the artist’s set include a stripped-back offering of Stories, ascertaining his clear musicianship; the Californian surprises us all with a humorous take on Game Winner (off the eponymous EP), changing the lyrics to suit the London audience, with football references and rules. Dosik is clearly an exceptionally talented musician, and it comes as no surprise that jazz legend Quincy Jones recommended him as one to watch.
A Vulfpeck founding member, Jack Stratton announces the band’s line up one by one – mimicking American football events – while the introduction to Teetime (Mr Finish Line, 2017) is played, seguing into Fugue State, befitting live television show music of the past. Cory Wong, (The Beautiful Game, 2016) – named after the group’s rhythm guitarist – is greatly reminiscent of the 1960s and 70s funk scene, with guitar licks and bassist Joe Dart’s riffs sending the audience into euphoria. The band is comprised of multi-instrumentalists and very comfortable performing live, walking on knees with outstretched limbs, while Stratton presents a handstand in the encore. Dosik returns on stage to provide the vocals on Baby I Don’t Know Oh Oh (Mr Finish Line, 2017), the instrumentals reminiscent of Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets, his voice faultless – as is Vulfpeck’s performance. Antwaun Stanley is a further addition to the ensemble. An energetic singer doing a funky jazz-style vocal improvisation, he adds a refreshing touch to the set. Stratton provides another funny offbeat speech about how the group travelled the globe “spreading a message of euphoric homotropic breath work”, and gets the audience to do some quirky exercises – they also deliver the note G note for his guitar – before playing an a capella version of Back Pocket (Thrill of the Arts, 2015). Stanley does a cool beat box introduction followed by the full band instrumental, a definite highpoint of the evening. Other highlights from the encore are undoubtedly Earth Wind & Fire’s September and The Jackson 5’s I Want You Back, Theo Katzman’s vocals remarkably like that of the young Michael Jackson.
Vulfpeck are a group of exceptional musicians in their own right, interchanging instruments with ease and producing music that is cheerful and upbeat. Tonight’s set shows their performance is not exclusively about the standalone tracks – with several pieces repeating bar progressions – but they demonstrate the fun and skill behind collaborating and jamming together, fully respecting each other’s abilities, while honouring the great session musicians of the 1970s.
Photos: Miguel de Melo
For further information and future events visit Vulfpeck’s website here.
Watch the video for Baby I Don’t Know Oh Oh here: